Everyone has their own opinion of what an MVP actually is. Most valuable? That can be interpreted in different ways by different people. The most valuable could mean the most productive. It could mean the most irreplaceable. It could mean the player who is responsible for the most wins. But then again, a lot of these definitions are subjective. Can a defensive player be MVP if he isn’t putting up great stats? Can a freshman be more valuable than a senior? It’s all in an opinion. My personal definition of an MVP is the one player who is most responsible for the amount of wins that a team has. To me, the value of a player is measured in the wins he creates. Now, I’m not into baseball sabermetrics, but in my opinion one can judge this by using the “eyeball” test.
With all that said, here are the midseason Go Joe Bruin MVP Candidates for the UCLA Bruins:
- Jonathan Franklin- Franklin leads the Pac 12 in rushing. His 878 yards rushing so far puts him on pace to break the UCLA single season rushing record and his 3,547 career rushing yards will soon break the UCLA all-time rushing record. Franklin has had fumbling issues in his career at UCLA, but thus far in 2012, he only has one fumble, which was recovered by UCLA. He also has 199 receiving yards and one touchdown on the season.
- Brett Hundley- Hundley was labeled the “savior” before he ever stepped foot on the UCLA campus nearly a year and a half ago. It is no secret among Pac 12 and college football fans everywhere that UCLA has struggled at the QB position for the better part of the last 14 years. Hundley is already reversing that trend. He has 1,916 yards passing and 14 touchdowns already. He is on pace to throw more touchdown passes than any Bruin QB since Drew Olsen in 2005. He also is the Bruins 2nd leading rusher and has 5 rushing touchdowns on the season.
- Anthony Barr- Barr played offense his first two seasons in Westwood, mostly at Y-back. Bruin fans have clamored to see Barr used in a more meaningful role since the day he stepped foot on campus. Coach Mora and Coach Spanos found that role and Anthony is a stud on defense. Despite breaking his hand in camp and playing with a club for the first few games, Anthony has been unblockable. He leads the team with 7.5 sacks and is a constant force in the opponents backfield. At 6-4, 235 pounds, and only 20 years old, Barr has potential to be even better. As he gains more experience, learns more pass rush moves, and improves against the run, he will be truly a defensive terror not seen in Westwood since a healthy Akeem Ayers a few years back. NFL scouts are already salivating at the thought of Anthony playing outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense.
Winner: Brett Hundley. Although most would say that Franklin and Barr are both better players at this point, Hundley’s production directly affects the W-L record most, in my opinion. His moxie and poise are exactly what you look for in a quarterback. Brett displays leadership and has the skills to back it up. Without Hundley, the Bruins would likely have 2-3 wins right now. First runner up: Jonathan Franklin. Second runner up: Anthony Barr.
Since MVP is such a subjective award, we want your opinion, as well! If you think Jonathan, Anthony, or any other Bruin is more deserving than Brett, we would love to hear why.